Remember Trayvon Martin

Remember Trayvon Martin, 17, unarmed, who died 3 years ago today at the hands of a neighborhood watch captain with a gun.

Remember Tamir Rice, 12, unarmed, holding a toy pellet gun, who died last November at the hands of police officers.

Remember Tanisha Anderson, 38, unarmed, a mentally ill woman whose death last November was ruled a homicide due to police brutality.

Remember Michael Brown, 18, unarmed, whose death last August sparked a national debate and wide-ranging protests.

Remember Eric Garner, 43, unarmed, whose death last July was captured on video, with him repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Remember Melissa Williams, 30, unarmed, who was killed November 2012, when Cleveland police fired 137 rounds into her car, 24 of which hit her. No one in the vehicle had a gun.

Remember Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, sleeping and unarmed, who was killed May 2010, when Detroit police officers conducted a “no-knock” raid on the home in which she lived.  The police set off a flash-bang grenade, then fired a shot.  The murder suspect they were attempting to find was not home.

Remember Kendra James, 21, unarmed, who was pepper sprayed, tased, and then shot, in May 2003, while trying to escape from a traffic ticket.

There are somanymore.

Remember them, tell their stories, stand in solidarity–it is in the voice of persons who suffer injustice that we hear the voice of God.

– – –

Eternal rest grant upon them, O Lord,
And may perpetual light shine upon them
May they rest in peace.  Amen.

4 responses to “Remember Trayvon Martin

  1. I am in the process of becoming a Deputy Sheriff. I come from a long line of police officers. My grandfather is a retired Commander and my uncle is a retired Sargent.

    I perceive this post as trying to put a spotlight on the controversial shootings involving law-enforcement. Honestly, could not agree more. It is extremely important to recognize the wrong done by law-enforcement, but it is equally as important to differentiate wrongdoing and justification.

    Tamil Rice’s situation was very different from Travon Martin’s, and have very different aspects. Any police officer will tell you, when an object you believe to be a gun is pointed at you, there are moments to react. It’s unrealistic in a situation of that nature to expect an officer to be able to analyze, rather a gun is real or fake. We must remember that police officer are not super humans they are just like you and I.

    • Eric,

      Thank you for this thoughtful comment, and for reading. The Tamir Rice shooting, you are correct to say, is quite different than Trayvon Martin. Blame must be shared in Rice’s death: the caller, the 911 operator who did not tell the officers that the gun was likely a toy, the officers themselves for shooting perhaps a bit too quickly on the scene, the bureaucrats and managers who decided how to arm and train the police force, the 911 operators, and the lack of available, effective non-lethal weapons.

      Being a police officer is no simple task, and they should not share all the blame. Officers act and serve under the law in the US, and other the statutes of that law decreed by local and federal officials. The overall argument of “systematic injustice” goes far beyond these shootings–they have simply become the easy targets of a frustrated portion of the citizens. Lack of a good educational system, lack of adequate healthcare, the sad state of the prison system and its disproportionate numbers of persons of color…these are all examples of systematic injustice.

      Thank you for reading and reflecting, once again. And best of luck in completing your training!

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